We’re a day late; Justice Antonin Scalia turned 71 yesterday, on March 11. But better late than never. Does anyone know how Nino celebrated this august occasion?
On the subject of Justice Scalia’s age, here’s an interesting squib from Jan Crawford Greenburg’s most excellent new book, Supreme Conflict, describing how Justice Scalia edged out Judge Robert Bork as a SCOTUS nominee:
[T]he politics of the nomination turned on age and compatibility. Scalia edged out Bork on both. “It came down to the ten years,” one top official later explained. Scalia was almost a decade younger than Bork, and even though he smoked and drank, he also exercised regularly. [DOJ official William Bradford] Reynolds and his team concluded that Scalia was likely to be on the Court longer than Bork because he was in better health — an important consideration if Scalia was to be Reagan’s last nomination.
Greenburg argues that nominating Scalia before Bork was a big mistake:
By nominating Scalia first, alongside the controversial Rehnquist, the White House used up all its political advantages. With Reagan at the height of his popularity and Republicans controlling the Senate, Bork would have been confirmed alongside Rehnquist — leaving the more loquacious and charming Scalia to emerge for the next nomination, all but daring senators to reject the court’s first Italian American nominee.
Hindsight is 20/20; but JCG is probably right about this. And considering that both Antonin Scalia and Robert Bork are alive and well today, in seemingly excellent health, both men would presumably have enjoyed long tenures on the Court had President Reagan switched the order of their nominations. Happy birthday to Justice Antonin Scalia [How Appealing]
Some time ago, we posted an anecdote about the family travel mishaps of Judge Marsha Berzon, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Many ATL readers enjoyed the story. But Judge Berzon’s colleague, Judge Alex Kozinski — one of the federal judiciary’s most brilliant thinkers and talented writers — was less pleased. He sent us an open letter criticizing the story and our decision to publish it.
We posted Judge Kozinski’s letter here, and we promised a more detailed response.
We intended to publish a response much earlier. But having to respond to a benchslapping at the hands of a brilliant federal judge tends to induce “writer’s block.” Who’d have thunk it?
Anyway, we finally got over our writer’s block. Our response appears after the jump.
This email has been making the rounds of law firm associates around the country. By the time it reached us, the lengthy forwarding chain included these endorsements (among many others):
“This absolutely made my day.”
“Funniest dial-in screw-up in the history of civilization.”
Here’s the original email (with merciful redactions by us):
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 5:25 PM
To: [A long list of recipients at top law firms and investment banks]
Please use the following dial-in information for a drafting call tomorrow at 2 PM EST.
Dial-in: (888) 939-2662
Password: 212 474 [xxxx]
Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP
To enjoy the full experience, pick up your phone and dial the number yourself: 1-888-939-2662.
It will only take you a minute. And it’s a toll-free call.
But if you don’t have the time, read our transcription of the message that awaits you, after the jump.
The mini-scandal that erupted after it was reported that Fulbright & Jaworski partner uttered “the n word” during a recruiting event at Duke Law School has pretty much blown over.
Much wind was taken out of the racist sails when it came to light that the partner said the magic word while “recount[ing] a story about Leon Jaworski’s defense of an African-American man in a murder trial in Waco, Texas in the 1920s.” The partner uttered the racial epithet “in an effort to display the depth of racial hostility that Jaworski and his client faced.”
In case you’re still interested in this story — and we understand completely if you’re not — an account of yesterday’s meeting, between Fulbright & Jaworski lawyers and law students at Duke, appears after jump.
Truth be told, we find the stock options backdating story a little boring. But every now and then, it results in mildly interesting news.
From the Recorder:
A fourth-year associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe inadvertently disclosed a sensitive document about stock option backdating that the firm has spent the last five months fighting to keep under seal.
The document — a complaint in a shareholder derivative action against former executives of Mercury Interactive Corp. — contains explosive allegations against the executives and quotes extensively from e-mails in which the executives allegedly discuss backdating their own stock options….
The complaint, Morillo v. Abrams, 1:05-cv-50710, had been filed under seal on Sept. 22 as part of a confidentiality agreement with the executives’ lawyers — but without judicial approval. The Recorder and two other news organizations have been trying since then to unseal the complaint and its supporting exhibits.
But a Dow Jones News Service reporter discovered Friday that Orrick associate M. Todd Scott had inadvertently filed the complaint publicly with a motion to stay the derivative action in October. The Wall Street Journal posted the complaint on its Web site over the weekend and wrote a story about it on page A-4 of Tuesday’s print edition.
Whoops! There goes five months’ worth of legal battles.
Our personal view is that filing under seal is greatly overused, even abused. But if you’re going to file under seal, then file under seal.
(We do feel bad, however, for Mr. Scott. We’re guessing he was operating under inadequate sleep. And when associates are exhausted and overworked, mistakes will get made.) Oops! Orrick Associate Lets Slip Mercury Backdating Document [The Recorder via Law.com]
We feel a bit like Senator Joe Biden must feel right now, after his ill-advisedcomments about Senator Barack Obama. In case you haven’t heard, Sen. Biden paid Sen. Obama’s presidential candidacy some backhanded compliments:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Take foot (or, in our case, keyboard). Insert into mouth. Then push, as far as it will go.
Yesterday we published a post about a recent plane trip made by Judge Marsha Berzon, of the Ninth Circuit, and her family. It was supposed to come across as playfully irreverent (and yes, slightly snarky). But instead, it turned out to be rather mean-spirited, at least in the eyes of some readers — such as Judge Alex Kozinski.
In a later post, we will explain various aspects of that original post (and vigorously defend the decision to publish in the first instance). But for now, we would like to point out that the timing of our post could not have been worse.
The following email is representative of others we’ve received. It’s from a former clerk of Judge Berzon (who, by the way, thinks very highly of her and enjoyed the clerkship):
Judge Berzon’s brother passed away Tuesday quite suddenly and unexpectedly. So, whereas I would be bothered by such a post about someone I so thoroughly revere as a general matter, I wouldn’t normally object to its very existence — I’d just fight back. Given current circumstances, however, I do think it is in especially poor taste this week, a point you might want to consider as you post further on the subject.
Point well-taken. Obviously we had no idea of the passing of Judge Berzon’s brother at the time we published our post. It was a story we had on hand for a while — non-time-sensitive stuff, or what we in the biz call “evergreen” material — and we didn’t get the chance to write it up until yesterday. So it was pure (and unfortunate) coincidence that it appeared at such a terrible time for the Berzon family.
We send our sincerest condolences to Judge Berzon on the passing of her brother. And we apologize if we have in any way made such a difficult time for her family even more trying. Update: Some interesting comments here. Please be sure to read our clarification of the point of this post. Thanks. Earlier: Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies: An Open Letter from Judge Alex Kozinski Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies
The story we’re about to share with you is great, gossipy fun. But we must warn you that it’s not for everyone. It’s on the long side, and it’s aimed at a rather narrow demographic.
It’s most likely to entertain (1) current or former Ninth Circuit clerks and (2) people who follow the federal judiciary very, very closely. If you were a reader of Underneath Their Robes back in the day, then this story is for you.
In recognition of its “inside baseball” nature — and so as not to inflict it upon people who just want Biglaw salary info — we’ve placed the complete story after the jump.
Well before Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell was ever filed, the venerable law firm was dealing with some serious issues. As aptly summarized by New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, “Sullivan & Cromwell lost about 30 percent of its associates in 2004 and 2005. It might take more than a raise to fix that.”
From a fascinating rather interesting Wall Street Journal article by Peter Lattman (which we meant to write about yesterday, before we got swamped by all the pay raise news):
Faced with a surge in turnover of its associates, the prestigious law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has been putting on a charm offensive to hold onto junior lawyers.
The crash course in etiquette went into high gear at a partners meeting last February. To deal with low associate morale and high attrition, a confidential slide presentation reviewed by The Wall Street Journal urged partners to say things like “thank you” and “good work” to associates they supervise.
What else should partners do? “Return associates’ phone calls as quickly as you would a partner’s or client’s,” said one bullet. “Be sensitive to not canceling associates’ vacations,” said another.
Additional bullet-points made these helpful suggestions:
“Don’t tell gay associates that they like taking it up the ass (because they might be tops rather than bottoms).”
“Refrain from subjecting associates to profanity-laced tirades in which you tell them they should be fired.”
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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